My high school was protested by the Westboro Baptist church. I learned this my senior year. My school has a fantastic fine and performing arts program, one that draws students from all over the county, and since it’s a well-known fact that art makes kids gay, the WBC protested a program that encourages creation and beauty because their idea of beauty is narrow and close minded. They eventually packed their bags and went home, having failed to make any lasting damage. Heck, I take pride in the fact that the Westboro Baptist Church protested. My school lived on and grew to have a vibrant gay community, one that felt safe reveling in their sexuality, gender identity and the freedom in accepting that they are different. Sure, there were homophobes—there always are—but my friends and I feel safe walking the halls. We feel safe loudly proclaiming how gay we were in our art classes and, in one memorable instant, one girl asked another to prom via short story during creative writing class. The principal is nothing but supportive of us. She attends GSA meetings and even brings the snacks. Continue reading Love is Love
In the hero’s journey, before the hero crosses the threshold into the “special world” they typically meet a guide that introduces them to their brave new world. In contrast with the hero’s youth and naivete, the guide is old, wise and seemingly infallible. These are the Obi Wans and the Yodas, the Master Splinters and the Dumbledores, the Ma and Pa Kents and the Professor Xaviers. They become parental figures to the heroes, teaching them most of what they need to know while still maintaining an air of mystery. Typically, but not always, after imparting some final wisdom, they die, leaving the hero to complete their journey on their own. The death of the mentor is often a threshold in and of itself; a sign that the character has now symbolically grown up.
I forget what first drew me to the Spirit as a character. I must have read about him somewhere or heard about the movie. But I do remember picking up the Darwyn Cooke’s run along with The Best of the Spirit, a collection of Eisner’s best tales. Those three volumes reeled me in to the world of the Spirit. And, when it comes to post Eisner Spirit, nothing compares to Darwyn Cooke.
Cooke’s The Spirit, is wonderfully anachronistic. He knew exactly what needed to be kept in the tradition of Will Eisner and what needed an update. It’s set in the modern era, yet maintains a noirish aesthetic, creating a work that’s both stylish and fun. Continue reading Darwyn Cooke’s The Spirit
Happy Free Comicbook Day, everyone! We at Nothing But Comics love the closest thing to to a geek holiday this side of May the 4th. Today comic lovers everywhere flock to stores to pick up some free and discount comics and some stores go all out. My local comic shop, Flashback Comics of Northern Virginia, turns the store into a mini convention, with local talent and the occasional cosplayer. Although, due to the dreary weather, less tables were out this year, plenty of customers still showed. Continue reading Free Comic Book Day 2016
When I first discovered Squirrel Girl, I was in the 8th grade & thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard. Like the villains that she’d defeated, I doubted the power of the squirrel. Never have I been so wrong about such an amazing character. Who would have thought that a comic about a girl who can talk to squirrels would be so good? Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Gets Nuts
It’s difficult to talk about Ms. Marvel without talking about her real-world importance. We live in a time of xenophobia akin to the attitudes that led to Japanese Internment. The Republican front runner believes we should register Muslims and ban them from immigrating to America and people actually support it. Because that’s obviously Constitutional! We live in a climate where we let our fear of the actions of a few cloud our judgement of over 1.6 billion people and this fear destroys our compassion when it comes to people like refugees who need help. This is where Ms. Marvel comes in. In the real world, and out of it, she’s a hero and inspiration, which is why, in San Francisco, people have been defacing Islamophoblic ads with pictures of her. That is amazing. Kamala has only been around for two years and yet she’s making a huge impact in both the Marvel universe and real world. Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: Ms. Marvel Can Change The World
I’ve never been a big Summer Camp person. Personally, I prefer the comforts of air conditioning and the Internet over a dirty old cabin with hard beds and mosquitoes eating me alive but maybe I’m just incredibly soft.The only time I ever went camping was a one night event with my Girl Scout Troop. I was in the second grade, and like most second graders, we were all incredibly gullible. The cabin where we slept was comprised of two rooms with two entrances full of bunk beds. Campers were allowed to write on the walls and in the second room, there was a ghost story. “Not so long ago, a girl scout fell asleep in this very cabin with the doors locked. There was a fire and the girl burned alive. If you lock yourself in the cabin, she’ll come back and do the same thing to you.” We spent the rest of the day asking counselors about it and only got vague answers while looking around the cabin for “evidence”. Needless to say none of us slept in that part of the cabin that night and the ghost didn’t show even when troop leader locked the door to our side of the cabin.
Every camp seems to come with legends like the extra crispy girl scout that haunted my cabin. Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters perfectly capture the mystique of Summer Camp legends and the sisterhood of the Girl Scouts in Lumberjanes, a comic about the girls of the Roanoke cabin in Miss Quinzella Thisquin Penniquiquil Thistles Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.
Lumberjanes follows the adventures of Ripley, Jo, April, Mal, Molly and their counselor Jen as they explore the woods. They find the usual stuff: shapeshifting bear ladies, merwomyn, Grootslangs. You know, the typical camp stuff.
We all know the type. They stand in the background and don’t say much, if anything at all, but if they speak, everyone listens. What is is about these characters that make them fan-favorites? It’s obviously not their love of witty banter, or their constant quips. Sure, they might get a funny line or two here and there, but a lot of the humor comes from how unexpected it is that they spoke at all. We know very little about them, their hobbies, their inner thoughts, or their history. Occasionally, we’ll get hints at their backstory, but the revelations are slow and even when we do learn their past, they remain mysteries.
Yes, the popularity of these characters as just as enigmatic as they are. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that their mysterious natures is exactly why they’re so popular. Character like Lying Cat, Snake-Eyes, Garnet, Samurai Jack, and Ice Bear don’t say much, if anything, but their quiet natures make you want to watch them even more. They riddles wrapped inside mysteries, wrapped inside enigmas and it’s the audience or reader’s job to figure them out. By keeping their thoughts to themselves, the readers have to watch them closely, and put themselves in the character’s shoes.
For many of us, superhero cartoons were gateway drugs into comics. Who doesn’t feel a pang of nostalgia when they remember getting up early to watch how Batman defeats the Joker that week, or get pumped up when they hear this?
Cartoons, in many ways, are like comic books during the heyday of the Comics Code Authority. They can tell fantastic stories, but if you are above a certain age, people will inevitably question if you’re too old to be watching cartoons. The answer? No, no you’re never to old, especially right now, with cartoons like Steven Universe and Gravity Falls pushing the boundaries of storytelling and creating plots and characters that appeal to both kids and adults. The stigma still exists though. Like comics, cartoons struggle for legitimacy. They also share a sort of symbiotic relationship. Comics get adapted to cartoons and cartoons get adapted or expanded in comics. Because of this relationship, here are five boundary pushing comic based cartoons I would love to see in the near future. There are, of course, many others that would be fantastic, but this is just my personal top five. Continue reading 5 Comics that Would Make Amazing Cartoons
Halloween is coming, and along with it, we have our ghosts and goblins, our Jack O’Lanterns, and sexy costumes that really shouldn’t be considered sexy. It’s the time of year where we all hunger for horror, whether from movies, books, or comics. It’s the time of year where we revel in being afraid. To whet our appetites for nightmares to come, I thought I’d take a look at the opening of the third volume of Colder, Toss the Bones. Continue reading Advance Review: Colder: Toss The Bones #1